Better-than-expected production in a pilot phase, filing of an application for commercial development, and delineation drilling have yielded a large increase in the reserves estimate for the Lindbergh thermal oil sands project operated by Pengrowth Energy Corp. near Bonnyville, Alta.
GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. assigned the project 13 million bbl of total proved bitumen reserves and 95 million bbl proved plus probable, effective June 30. Estimates last Dec. 31 were 4.4 million bbl proved and 6.3 million bbl proved plus probable.
The new contingent reserves estimate is 281.2 million bbl.
Pengrowth, Calgary, filed applications last December for the first phase of commercial development via steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) of the Lindbergh project, in which it holds a 100% interest.
It hopes initially to drill 22 well pairs and achieve production of 12,500 b/d of bitumen in early 2015.
In the pilot project, Pengrowth began injecting steam into both wells of two well pairs last February. It said the reservoir responded more quickly than expected. In May it installed pumping equipment in the producer wells and began SAGD production.
In June the well pairs produced 650 b/d of bitumen each. Average instantaneous steam-oil ratio (SOR) was less than 2. The planned project design SOR is 3.5.
Pengrowth warned early results might not indicate long-term performance but called them encouraging.
“These pilot results support our belief that we have a clean, high-quality, homogeneous reservoir with good oil mobility that is amendable to SAGD recovery,” said Steve De Maio, vice-president, in situ oil development and operations.